Sunday, November 4, 2012


My Curatorial Statement for the currently exhibiting show at the Lancaster Museum of Art (MOAH) in Lancaster, CA.  This is just my thoughts on the exhibit. 

I pity the fool, Sean Cheetham, 2012

Past Presence: Contemporary Figure and Portrait Exhibition

Look at the modern art movements as a whole and view the direct lineage from one to the next throughout Art History from 1850 to the late 1960’s, and in doing this there is one prevailing factor throughout.  That factor is the growth of the individual artist’s ideas and concepts over their mere reproductions of prior established “norms” in Art.  As we progressed from the beginnings of Modern Art in the Realism movement of the mid-19th century to the Post-Minimalist movement over a hundred years later we see the artist’s idea far outweigh his representational skill.  With this creation of idea and concept trumping technical skill what happened was Artists began to invent, and in their inventions they would create movements; for example, Picasso and Braque and their inventions of Analytical and Synthetic Cubism in the early days of Modern Art between 1910-1914.    What would happen shortly after is that the repetition would begin as Artists who were trained to mimic began to follow the movements of individual invention and when this mimicry had reached epic proportions of repetition it called for a new movement in Art.  So what we saw is “repetition” or “sameness” became public enemy number one in Modern Art as Modern Artists constantly sought to re-invent and individualize their message and technical approach.  Always searching for what was new and what would make an impact. 
This seems to have come to a head in the mid-1950’s with the Pop Art movement, spear-headed by Andy Warhol.  Warhol added this idea of repetition into his art in order to sarcastically ridicule the established idea of repetition and its connotation of the latest Art Movement.  In the Marilyn Diptych Warhol is exposing the ugliness of the “copy” and he is demonstrating its loss of newness as the image is repeated and ink changes or smears and diminishes the subject further with each copy.  He is ridiculing the mass appeal to take something beautiful; such as Marilyn, and to expose it and copy it in repetition until it loses its beauty and rare newness, which is what made us love “the object of our desire” in the first place.
The artists involved in this exhibition are part of a quiet revolution just as Manet and Courbet were when they invented the Realism movement in the mid 19th Century or Monet, Cassatt, and the Impressionists were a quarter century later.  This revolt against the established norms in Art is happening once again and these artists are among the forefront of this exciting movement.  This exhibition includes a group of artists who have used the Figure and Portrait in their work as a springboard to unleash their ideas and visual communication onto their audience.  These were Artists who sought to train themselves academically with the figure when such things were viewed as passé and outdated.  They had to fight the established “norms” of non-representational art and educate themselves in a world of art, which offered very little technical training.  In doing so they have played their part in inventing a new movement in art just as their predecessors always have.  This Contemporary Figurative Art movement honors and acknowledges the past but doesn’t simply derive from the past its questions and answers.  It asks new questions and challenges the viewer in new ways to answer them. 
Throughout Art History the Figure has been the basis for art as we created our world in our own image, but the need for the artists idea to become paramount in art brought us away from representing the figure and toward non-objective Art movements which were essential in bringing us out of the academia which had gained a stronghold on artistic expression.  There is no arguing the necessity of Cubism, Fauvism, Abstract expressionism and Post Minimalism among many other modern art movements.  Each brought new developments to the artist’s visual communication and its overwhelming importance to artistic expression.  But the past forty years have brought about somewhat of a standstill in contemporary art as the “copying” of these movements has become stale and stagnant.   The nature of Modern Art is ideas born out of new ideas that challenge the old ideas.  If this nature of questioning the establishment as we seek newness and individuality in Art is allowed to continue by the public and the “Art Establishment” then Contemporary Figurative Art has a future.  For Art to evolve and to grow we must always seek to destroy repetition and fight our nature to mimic success in art around us.  The artists of this exhibition are showing with their work that they value both the representation of life and their concept equally as they show us new ways to visually communicate while using Art History’s oldest tool––The Human Figure.  

Thank you to all of the Artists who showed in this exhibit.  It really was a great experience for me and this show was done in your honor.  
Kent Twitchell, Kent Williams, Sean Cheetham, Natalia Fabia, Aaron Westerberg, Sergio Sanchez, Virginia Broersma, Joseph Todorovitch, Eric Pedersen,  Suzanne Unrein, Richard Morris, "The McCaw's" Dan, John, and Danny, Rogelio Manzo, Seamus Conley, Peter Zhang, Rebecca Campbell,  DJ Hall, Chris Gwaltney, Marc Trujillo, and F. Scott Hess 


Our own private Vegas...

There's a room in the wasted desert somewhere, 
with only a piano on its floor and four stark walls closing it in.  
Walls so bare without even a clock. 
The bench and the chair aren't much to sit on and there's a door that won't lock... 

There's window gawking, and cock-blocking, maybe even a critic or two... 
With all this there's an unexplainable yet wonderful charm.  
It's a feeling of wrong but you know that it's right. 
The type that you feel on a hot Vegas night, when you just want to look and see each others lights.

For the sake of that feeling it's our own private Vegas where time stands still as we move on to many new realms and auras of sight.  

Blasting in too many directions to count like stars in the night. 

Like ticks of the clock in this temporal rift, we found thoughts and portrayals of  life's greatest gift.

The casks of despair couldn't dampen the feeling we feel in this  breathable air.
 Breathing it in we taste fate as it shifts again with this new found friend.

Our own private Vegas.
Where we both hope to win.

A Goddess in bronze



Your earthly skin glistens in the orange glow of the sun. 
Your hair whips in strands of rhythm across your innocent face. 
The cold wind pierces the pores of your skin, leaving tiny bumps of nervous delight behind.  
Your beauty is immortal and ancient in its overwhelming newness. 
The qualities in your smile leave me in stunned awareness. 
Moments are fleeting as you dodge from sight only to return with a smile just as bright...  
Bright as the moon on a dark winters night.  

Where do you go to when you hide your eyes? 
Where do you go to when you burst through the night's sky? 
This essence of something I can't explain. 
You have it...  
I've seen it! 

    There's no use in trying to hide or refrain.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The warm sun and cool breeze flow over me as the distant train fills my ears. Thoughts of everything and nothing possess my quiet brain. Sights of green and blue, of me and you.  Emotions of love and hope. The faith you'd always be near. All of this as my breath subsides. All of this keeps me from wanting to die. Your sweet grin. Our tasteful sin. It's all worth every broken glass and left behind dream. It's all something but not what it seemed. We used to know, but knowing is showing that ignorance is vast. There's nothing more than barking dogs and trains flying past. There's nothing more than the crow calling my name. My hair is caressed and ruffled by the pushing wind. Asking me to move and go to that place within.  That place I find is my now, my here, my way, and how. The flag flaps as fast as the sparrows wings. All of it nothing and all at once the beauty of your eyes when they've just awoken. The beauty of words that can never be spoken. The trees know it and the wet ground can taste it. Only they know what we know of nothing, only the flock knows the path. Only freedom can be found in the gusts that lift us up with our open wings. Only this, my heart sings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Candid Acts

Candid is always best. Whether it be a photograph; a moment between friends, or face you make during good sex. When we lose that idea of looking right and become the moment we're in. That is where life and love and the pursuit of happiness exist. It's in those little moments when our mind is silenced and we allow ourselves to become that look, that laugh, that tear, that sigh.  I can preach from my pulpit about knowing it with all my heart.  But to what end? With what point? I've surely got no idea how to get there. I simply want to cherish the fact it's there.  But as it is you can't really acknowledge that candid truth without falsifying it somehow. As soon as it's seen it's gone like that light you see in her eye. So I don't know what I'm trying to say or even why. I think maybe that candid truth is our only truth or our only lie for that matter... Maybe that's god or that spirit of the universe we all know to be there? That true lie some of us know so well we call ourselves agnostic or atheist in order to piss off the daddy of our own conciousness. Maybe god isn't meant to be seen? Maybe it isnt meant to be acknowledged, understood, loved, hated or even ignored but maybe just a candid realism we shouldn't try to see but only try to be.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Sitting on the rocks of the bay. At the point just before the ocean stained boulders meet the shore. I'm sitting here wondering if I've ever seen your face before. The tide, dead calm, is awakened by the intrusion of a tourist barge. Then left calm again after they've gone, but never to reach once more it's peaceful peak. I feel a presence, overwhelmed in attack, attempting to move me from my earthbound throne of granite. It can only cause a weak shift in my movement. Enough to have me turn and look, yet return to my sinful stare. Looking into and holding tight your sinful hair. Something keeps the tide alive as others attempt at breaking its untimely spirit. Left without hope the tourists return to their lifeless mope. This is the story of those who've settled but still long to grope at that image of peace they inevitably break and disrupt. Just when they've entered, it's over and just as they leave, it returns... like a crowd scatters as danger approaches, her peace runs away from their hairlines and broaches. I am left standing watching you there. Ever so changing as you look into the light's glare. I am left standing waiting for your return from the destruction. The disruption of all they've put on you and try leaving in their wake. You will not move me from my granite throne. You will not leave me here all alone. They will quiver and shake in the power of your wake.


I'm not leaving no matter how loud your screams of hate may get.  I'm not leaving and going out into this world of black eyes staring blankly at my misfortune.  At my failed attempt at a dream. I see the way they soften their mouths at my sadness. I see you wanting to make me whole again...  As you wish I'd find a friend.  You want me to run to that?  Your hate tastes sweeter.  Your hate has feeling.  Their sympathy at my pathetic gait has no life. It has no weight.  I'm not running away from my destruction or the forgotten me.  I'm running into my self like a cannon meeting the target.  Like a child's smile of hope for approval.  Like the salty taste of dirt a tear leaves in your mouth...  I can taste my disgrace.  I have faced this dirty demon and his evil face.  I can be what I am and you can leave running for the sun.  You run away?   You be alone with your hate if you must!  Don't leave that burden on me for my soul is much too weak to adjust.  I'm only particles of dust left to settle.  Softly and slowly falling into place.